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Thread: Tattoos

  1. #1
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    Tattoos

    Namaste
    A rather random question of mine but I was wondering, what is the general attitude within Sanatana Dharma towards tattoos? I know of course that mehndi is a long tradition but what about permanent tattoos, especially of sacred text or imagery? For example the actress Esha Deol has tattoos on her shoulder blades of Om and the Gayatri Mantra. I am not sure how I personally feel about such tattoos...on the one hand I could see the significance of having sacred syllables placed on one's body (provided it is not done on the feet or any other place of disrespect) and on the other hand I could also see it as being taken to mean the mantras are being used as mere decoration for the body. (The issue of non-Hindus getting such tattoos as purely a fashion statement is another issue entirely.)

    Now, I don't have or plan to get any such tattoos. But I am curious what the position of HDF members is on them. I also hope I don't offend anyone...as I said before, I don't know anything about the historical background & current views towards such tattoos and could just be over-analyzing them.
    "Faith is to believe what you do not see. Faith's reward is to see what you believed." -Swami Chinmayananda

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    Re: Tattoos

    Namaste,
    Quote Originally Posted by revati9 View Post
    Now, I don't have or plan to get any such tattoos.
    Then don't even think about them.

    Pranam.

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    Re: Tattoos

    Quote Originally Posted by Believer View Post
    Then don't even think about them.
    Good point
    "Faith is to believe what you do not see. Faith's reward is to see what you believed." -Swami Chinmayananda

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    Re: Tattoos

    Quote Originally Posted by revati9 View Post
    Namaste
    A rather random question of mine but I was wondering, what is the general attitude within Sanatana Dharma towards tattoos? I know of course that mehndi is a long tradition but what about permanent tattoos, especially of sacred text or imagery? For example the actress Esha Deol has tattoos on her shoulder blades of Om and the Gayatri Mantra. I am not sure how I personally feel about such tattoos...on the one hand I could see the significance of having sacred syllables placed on one's body (provided it is not done on the feet or any other place of disrespect) and on the other hand I could also see it as being taken to mean the mantras are being used as mere decoration for the body. (The issue of non-Hindus getting such tattoos as purely a fashion statement is another issue entirely.)

    Now, I don't have or plan to get any such tattoos. But I am curious what the position of HDF members is on them. I also hope I don't offend anyone...as I said before, I don't know anything about the historical background & current views towards such tattoos and could just be over-analyzing them.
    According to Tantra body is a temple of the Ultimate Reality (Brahman) and in general across Hinduism so the onus is on people to keep the body clean. But it's not clear that whether people should get tattoos however I'm against the idea of having sacred and powerful mantras like Gayatri Mantra or any other on body as I believe it's inappropriate. I have a very big tattoo and I don't regret having it and still I feel I'm spiritual.
    ॐ महेश्वराय नमः

    || Om Namo Bhagavate Rudraya ||

    Hara Hara Mahadeva Shambo Shankara

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    Re: Tattoos

    Namaste.

    Two years ago, my 75yr old mother and myself went on a trip to Bali, Indonesia.

    One day we were out shopping, then out of the blue, she's like "I am going to get a tattoo" (neither of us had one).

    I said something along the lines of: "you go ahead and do that, but don't look at me to follow you....because I want to keep my body clean and pure....once you get one of those things, it's there for good, so you have to really like what you get and live with it for life".

    Then, she accused me of being a 'chicken' and a 'coward' and kept it up...and up...and up.

    In the end, she got a tattoo of a hibiscus flower on her calf, and to show her I was not a 'chicken', I got a tattoo of a Pentagram on my right shoulder...a very tiny one, in black ink only.

    As well as being Hindu, I will always be Wiccan. A pentagram is something I could/would always be able to live with.

    I doubt I'd be able to live with an 'Om' or a Mantra tattooed on my body anywhere, I also feel it is highly inappropriate...although a small Mandala or Yantra would look nice.

    I may get another tattoo one of these days, but I am not rushing out anytime soon to get it done. It's not an issue nor a priority.

    Aum Namah Shivaya

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    Re: Tattoos

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namast

    Let me offer my position on this and any other type of tattoo. I came into this world unmarked, I will leave it as such.

    The body comes and goes, that is why it is called śarīra.
    IMHO to spend time on marking the body with something that will be gone, and the symbol on the skin that will shrivel with age, where one will not even be able to make out what the mark was to begin with seems to me precious time lost. I would much rather spend the effort doing ajapa-gāyatrī which brings the supreme closer to me. I would much rather take the money that would be used for the tattoo and offer it to some one in need.

    These are my thoughts , others may differ.


    praṇām

    1. śarīra - 'that which is easily destroyed or dissolved'; the body , bodily frame
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Tattoos

    Vannakkam: There isn't a whole lot in scripture to go on, and it is a fashion trend. Personally I see no harm in it, and in the grand scheme of things, it's pretty surface stuff. There are greater things to consider than whether of not to place permanent marks on your body ... like kindness for instance.

    Aum Namasivaya

  8. #8

    Re: Tattoos

    delete
    Last edited by Sudas Paijavana; 17 January 2014 at 08:41 PM. Reason: no longer hold these views

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    Re: Tattoos

    Vaishnavas (orthodox) get some kind of permanent markings on the body - on either upper arms, they get the markings of the Conch and discus of the Lord - this procedure is known as 'Pancha Samskara' and many duties of the Vaishnavas are permitted only to those who have these markings.
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: Tattoos

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastern Mind View Post
    There are greater things to consider than whether of not to place permanent marks on your body ... like kindness for instance.
    I agree
    "Faith is to believe what you do not see. Faith's reward is to see what you believed." -Swami Chinmayananda

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